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Does the NJ State BOE Care What Parents & Taxpayers Think? Part One

An inside view of the NJ BOE hearings 

By Christopher Jimenez 

On September 6, I traveled to Trenton hoping to receive answers from the NJ Board of Education. This was my first opportunity to speak to them face to face, and based on their policy decisions, I had several questions on my mind. 

When I arrived, it was apparent that I was not the only one wanting to voice their concerns. Many parents and teachers were protesting in front of the building with USA flags and Parental Rights signs. I sympathize with the parents and citizens: how else can they get the NJBOE’s attention who are not elected by voters yet approve policies seemingly without consideration of the inherent rights of parents? 

Outside the entrance to where you checked in, about 150 protestors, mostly concerned parents, were met by a smaller number of so-called “Social Justice Advocates.” These groups of people shouted against the parents who stood in front of them while chanting about the rights of minor students. The group consisted of the PRO-LGBT Garden State Equality, NJEA teachers union members, and others. Based on their chants, I suspect that they believe a female Christian student should suppress her discomfort during sex-ed class and affirm the trans guy sitting next to her. Unfortunately, this is the tragic scene that modern politics has brought to the lives of New Jersey citizens: one group of people shouting on the right, another group of people shouting on the left, yelling at each other with megaphones without actual constructive dialogue. 

The time arrived for registered speakers to walk inside. Because I was a registered attendee only, I was technically not allowed to give testimony. I showed the staff my typed testimony and asked them if I might present it. After a bit of insisting to several people, and the photocopying of my testimony by a friendly woman, I was added to the list as a speaker and had sufficient copies to give to each Board member.

The Board members had split into three different rooms to be able to accommodate about 160 attendees and multiple testimonies simultaneously. When I arrived at the room assigned to me, it was well arranged with chairs but already full. Four Board members sat in the front, behind a desk, which was placed facing a single podium with a microphone. Board member Andrew Mulvihill opened the session and reminded us that although there was “tension” outside, we must remember to keep our words civil inside which would be recorded on video and audio. 

The testimony began and the first person was a concerned mom. “Good,” I thought to myself, “I am not the only one.” The LGBTQ+ fans were easy to identify because they wore rainbow colors or dyed their hair like a cartoon character. The concerned citizens, however, either wore explicitly patriotic clothes or, for the most part, simply wore nice clothes: ties, shiny shoes, professional dresses, etc. Precisely because many of these parents did not use their clothes as a propaganda marketing tool, at first I was unsure what their worldview was. However, as the testimony progressed, it became more clear. 

This was not the case for one liberal voice, however, who I would say was probably one of the better-dressed in the room. His name is Michael Gottesman, founder of the New Jersey Public Education Coalition, which promotes woke agendas in New Jersey public schools. I must digress from the narrative to invest time in this emotional character wearing a suit. To start, his testimony was truly astonishing. One of his key theories was that conservative parents who were protesting the transgender agenda inside public schools were wielding the notion of “Parental Rights” as a weapon! According to Mr. Gottesman, these parents were imposing their views on other parents by hogging the term “parental rights.” If Socrates were sitting in the hearing room, I am sure he would have burst out laughing in the middle of the testimony. A superficial consideration of the logic in this argument quickly rips it to shreds: How are parents who request parental notification imposing their views on others? They are not the ones telling other people’s children not to tell their parents what happened in school!

Nevertheless, Mr. Gottesman was allowed to finish his testimony with only minor boos from the crowd. (Listeners were usually respectful throughout the whole hearing, so the fact that Michael was booed at one point demonstrates how bizarre his claims are.) Although he was not fond of being opposed by the crowd during his testimony, this did not stop him from booing Mrs. Sherry Nardolillo of Mom’s for Liberty during her testimony. A man behind Michael told him to shut up and let her finish her testimony, causing Michael to burst into a rage. Mr. Gottesman took out his phone and started to record the man behind him, intentionally trying to intimidate him, although unsuccessfully. All this fuss occurred while the testimony continued to take place until a science teacher in the audience looked at Gottesman dead in the eyes and told him to stop. Almost immediately, Mr. Gottesman stopped pointing the camera, awkwardly faced it downward, and finally put the phone away… Funny how “mature attire” does not stop one from acting childish.

Many more testimonies were presented, most in favor of parental rights, a few against, and an even smaller number about miscellaneous subjects such as student transportation. Three hours later, I was finally able to give my testimony. I was the last person to testify, and by that time the room barely had a dozen people left. The Board members were anxious to leave but they seemed to sympathize with my young 23 y/o face willing to stand up and speak despite the long hearing. I wonder if they held the same sympathy after my testimony. 

I will not reproduce every sentence of my short testimony since it will be attached to this article for those interested. I will summarize it by repeating its two main questions: What is the basis for gender ideology? And who has the main oversight over children? Perhaps because the Board members were too tired at that time of day, or because they had better things to do, they did not answer my questions on the spot. 

It is a shame. In this State, where gender ideology is imposed on children’s undeveloped minds and parents are told the State has maximum authority over children, no one seems to know why. Not even the same people responsible for such policies are being pushed in our local school districts. If the directors of our children’s education (NJBOE) do not know the answer, who does?

Christopher Jimenez’s Testimony to the NJ State Board of Education:

Members of the NJ State Board of Education,

My name is Christopher Jimenez and I am a former middle school teacher and current Philosophy graduate student. I am here today with the sincere desire to present some questions to the Board members. I suspect that the questions I have do not belong merely to my interest, but that of all NJ citizens, which is why I have decided to offer my testimony today.

Let us start with the crucial question: What is the basis for gender ideology? Clearly, such a revolutionary theory must have an equivalently amazing supply of evidence to support it. Never in the history of mankind have we found a civilization where men and women were promoted to mutilate their bodies and become infertile. And yet, here we are today promoting such ideas to our children in public schools. 

This leads me to my next question: Who has the main oversight over a child’s education? The traditional answer would be that parents have the maximum authority over their children. Yet, it seems that the school board subscribes to a new theory in which the State has the maximum authority over a child’s education. Why might this be? What evidence has been discovered to prove that children are better educated by a factory-like system in which each student is treated like one more in a million? 

I ask the School Board these questions because I do not doubt you have the answers. You are all qualified professionals knowledgeable in the art of education. With your experience in the field, you have deemed it beneficial to promote gender ideology without parental consent. Therefore, I kindly ask you to share the evidence for such novel theories. 

The Board must understand that the majority of New Jersey citizens are not experts on the topic of education. Therefore, we require much education ourselves about why you encourage our little boys to dress as little girls behind our backs. Thank you in advance for your answers, which, out of sincere concern for our children and families, you will undoubtedly give us shortly.

Christopher Jimenez is a vital part of the Center for Garden State Families education team.

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1 Comment

  1. […] the latest example of Gottesman’s bullying, Christopher Jimenez posted a blog “An inside view of the NJ BOE hearings,” which covered the September 6 State Board of […]

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